After a solid first quarter, Gretna found points tough to come by Tuesday night against York.
As a result, the Class B No. 5 Dukes were able to post a 40-29 win against the second-ranked Dragons.
Credit goes to the York defense for holding host Gretna well below its 53-point average. The Dragons (8-2) scored 13 in the first quarter but 16 the rest of the way.
"Our defense was phenomenal," Dukes coach Matt Kern said. "We got them out of sync and we were able to stop (senior guard Maddie) Meadows pretty well."
Meadows, who scored 22 in a recent win against Aurora, was 3 of 17 from the field and finished with seven points. She was 1 for 10 from behind the arc as the Dragons finished 1 for 16 on 3-pointers.
"We found it really tough to get any open shots," Gretna coach Jerome Skrdla said. "It was kind of like Meadows against the world out there, and that's not going to get it done."
York (8-1) led by four in the first quarter before Gretna went on a 9-0 run to grab a five-point advantage. But a 1-for-11 shooting performance in the second quarter yielded two points for the Dragons, and York went ahead for good on a layup by Tayte Hansen.
"We talked at halftime that we needed to come out with the same intensity," Kern said. "We're really a blue-collar team and we have to count on that defense."
Consecutive 3-pointers by Hansen and Emma Grenfell allowed the Dukes to create a little breathing room, and that advantage grew to seven late in the third quarter on a layup by Jordyn Stearns.
The Dragons crept within five early in the fourth, but a Hansen 3-pointer and 10 free throws down the stretch by Grenfell clinched the win.
"When people leave the gym, we want them to think that we're the hardest-working team in the state," Kern said. "I thought it was just a great effort from our girls."
Kern added that any victory over Gretna and coach Skrdla — who surpassed the 500-win mark last season — is huge.
"We know they don't lose here very often," he said. "And we've got tremendous respect for Jerome and his program."
Grenfell scored all 13 of her points in the second half to pace the Dukes, who shot 37 percent from the field and 65 percent from the foul line. Hansen added eight points, while Stearns had seven points with a game-high 10 rebounds.
The Dragons shot 26 percent from the field and 6 percent from 3-point range.
"We've beaten some good teams this year, but tonight I felt as though we really backed off," Skrdla said. "We're a young team, and it showed."
It doesn't get easier for Gretna, which plays at Class B No. 1 Platte view on Friday night. Trojans sophomore guard Payton Brotzki leads the state with a 27.4-point scoring average, slightly less than the Dragons' team total Tuesday night.
"It will be a whole different challenge," Skrdla said. "We'll need to do a better job than we did tonight."
"When people leave the gym, we want them to think that we're the hardest-working team in the state."
York coach Matt Kern